oa South African Journal of Chemistry - QuEChERS method development for bio-monitoring of low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in South African carp fish using HPLC-fluorescence : an initial assessment : research article

Volume 69, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-4350



Matrix components in the analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in fish require analytical methods with high selectivity and sensitivity. A quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe (QuEChERS) sample treatment method was optimized and applied, using HPLC-fluorescence for quantification of five low molecular weight PAHs: naphthalene (Nap), acenaphthene (Ace), phenathrene (Phe), fluoranthene (Flu) and pyrene (Pyr) in muscle of carp fish. Important in this study was the testing of different sorbents for clean-up in QuEChERS and comparison with Soxhlet extraction. Polymers and magnetite modified with γ-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (γ-MPS) were equally as selective towards PAHs as primary secondary amine (PSA) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes were the least selective. The concentration of PAHs in carp fish from Hartebeespoort Dam using QuEChERS extraction method was comparable to Soxhlet extraction and ranged from 0.8-739 μg kg-1. In this study, the minimum concentration of PAHs in carp fish was 0.8 μg kg-1 for fluoranthene and the maximum was 739 μg kg-1 for Ace using QuEChERS method. The study revealed that polymers and magnetite modified with γ-MPS could be used as alternative clean-up sorbent in QuEChERs and that the concentration of PAHs in carp fish in the dam are a source of concern.

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